Factions or Schisms in the Church


The Vatican coat-of-arms when the Chair of Saint Peter is vacant or empty, now the emblem of Sedevacantism

I have seen that there are at least three major factions in the Church.  They consist of those who reject Church dogma on faith and morals, others believe everything the Holy Father and/or the bishops say is correct even if blatantly false and feel the need to explain it away and attack those who criticize them, and then others see heresy even where there is none.  Many eventually go from material heresy to formal heresy, meaning they not only disagree with the Church on her doctrines, but they leave the Church altogether for a schismatic Church or another ecclesial community which agrees with their doctrines; we often call them liberal Catholics.  Others unquestionably support the Pope on such topics as interfaith dialogue or capital punishment even when Catholics raise legitimate concerns that interfaith dialogue needs to change if it is going to work or that the Holy Father is contradicting the Church’s teaching on capital punishment when he says it “is inadmissible”.  Then the others believe every article they read, especially those which misquote the Holy Father and the bishops or paraphrase them and add their own remarks, something which has become the trademark of the liberal media; we typically call them traditionalist Catholics, but not all traditionalist Catholics believe everything they see and only a particular subculture of them actually believes this way and are thus called ultratraditionalist Catholics; some participate in the Society of Saint Pius X which has valid Sacraments, but as Benedict XVI said does “not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church” as “does not have a canonical status in the Church” [1], and others have gone from material schism to formal schism [2] by believing the current Pope is a false Pope and that the Chair of Saint Peter is currently vacant — these are called Sedevacantists — and others have elected their own Pope and are thus called Conclavists.


“Pope” Gregory XVII, a.k.a. Clemente Domínguez y Gómez, of the Palmarian Catholic Church

Many have falsely accused Michael Voris of being in schism with the Church, yet he has consistently defended the Magisterium in spite of controversial criticisms of individual bishops like His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan.  Here he criticizes The Remnant, Sedevacantists and the SSPX to name a few.

I do strongly feel the media is trying to cause schisms in the Church.  It seems the arguments among Catholics get worse based largely on what popes and bishops allegedly say.  We need to pray for reconciliation between the Church and those who have left for heresy or schism.  In the end none of these schisms help solve the problem, the more reason we need reconciliation.  Sedevacantists, Conclavists and Sedeprivationists may have far better faith than most Catholics submitting to the Holy Father, the Magisterium and the local ordinary, but schism is not the solution but the problem.  Hopefully the Church’s ecumenical dialogue will help patch up things  with those currently in schism and heresy.  The media wants these factions to manifest in the public domain so as to delegitimize Church dogma, infallibility and unity in order to promote a relativistic view of faith and promote their own agenda.


Most Rev. Marcel Lefebvre, C.S.Sp., first Superior General of the S.S.P.X.

[1] http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2013/08/01/are-sspx-sacraments-valid-part-i/

[2] Code of Canon Law, Can. 751


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